By The New York Times: Keith Bradsher on October 29, 2013
HONG KONG — IMAX Corporation, the Canadian company that has long designed and manufactured large-screen cinema equipment on the outskirts of Toronto, plans to announce on Tuesday in Los Angeles that it has set up a joint venture with a Chinese multinational to develop and manufacture $250,000 home theater systems in China.
IMAX’s decision to set up a joint venture with the Shenzhen-based TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Limited is the latest sign of the powerful lure that China has become for Hollywood and its suppliers. Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, Leonardo DiCaprio and Zhang Ziyi showed up last month in Qingdao, a beach resort in northeastern China, to attend the announcement of a movie-themed real estate development that is to include 20 movie sound sets.
IMAX decided on a joint venture with TCL for the new systems primarily because it expects China to be the largest market for them, Richard L. Gelfond, the chief executive of IMAX, said in a telephone interview. IMAX also concluded that it needed an alliance with a large television manufacturer in order to handle the distribution and service issues associated with selling to a broader range of households, he said.
While acknowledging that low production costs in China had also been an attraction, Mr. Gelfond said that they had not been central. “It’s not because of the low-end cost structure but because it’s the market,” he said.
IMAX already makes $2 million home theater systems for extremely wealthy households at its base in Mississauga, Ontario, and will continue to do so.
By The Los Angeles Times: Richard Verrier on October 28, 2013
Those who can afford to pay $500 to watch a newly released movie in their own home can now add another luxury perk: the ability to watch it on a giant IMAX screen.
IMAX Corp. has agreed to pay about $2.5 million to acquire up to 20% stake in Prima Cinema Inc., the San Diego-area company that releases premium-priced movies into the home when they are released in theaters.
Under the agreement, set to be announced Monday morning, IMAX will use Prima’s service for its luxury private theaters, which cost $2.5 million and have 20-foot-wide screens.
The deal also makes IMAX the exclusive distributor of Prima's systems over the next five years in China, where the Toronto-based technology company has aggressively expanded. China is now the world's second-largest movie market.
The investment in Prima is part of a broader strategy by IMAX to bring its cinema technology into the home, company executives said.
By The Wall Street Journal: Rachel Louise Ensign on September 20, 2013
His past might not sound like the making of a movie-industry giant, but Richard Gelfond is now the CEO of IMAX, a $1.7 billion empire with a presence in more than 700 theaters
Richard Gelfond Bloomberg/Getty Images
Shoeshine boy. A young sports-paper boss. And a 99-cent dry-cleaner owner. His past might not sound like the making of a movie-industry giant, but Richard Gelfond is now the CEO of IMAX, IMX.T -0.20% a $1.7 billion empire with a presence in more than 700 theaters—and part of the movie-going experience for millions of 3D-glasses-wearing film buffs. Now 58 and close with marquee Hollywood figures like director Christopher Nolan, he tells us he made it big because he "was always obsessed by business."
1. 1963: Launches a shoe-shining business at the age of 8 in a barbershop in his Long Island, N.Y., hometown, using his dad's shoeshine kit.
2. 1971: Co-founds New York Ball, a newspaper focused on local sports, as a teen. Publication boasts a circulation of 25,000. Uses the experience to land a job at Newsday in college.
By USA Today: Claudia Puig on September 19, 2013
A first-rate conversion to a large-screen, 3-D format makes for a wonderfully vivid experience.
(Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)
It's easier now than ever to surrender disbelief.
All these decades later, the ruby slippers sparkle with matchless dazzle, the winding brick road looks incomparably yellow and the Emerald City shines an ever-more-alluring green.
Childhood memories will only be enhanced by the vibrant restoration and sharply rendered conversion of The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience (* * * ½ out of four; rated PG; opening Friday nationwide).
Not only is it the oldest film ever to be converted to 3-D, it's also the most iconic. The blend of old-fashioned, classic storytelling with cutting-edge technology is undeniably enthralling.
By The Hollywood Reporter: Etan Vlessing on September 9, 2013
"Make it a win-win situation. Don't be a colonialist going in, teaching people how to do things your way," company topper Richard Gelfond told a moguls panel at the festival.
TORONTO -- It's no secret the major studios and China have had a rocky relationship in recent years.
Richard Gelfond thinks he knows why.
Foreign players can't dictate the market in China, the IMAX CEO told a moguls panel at the Toronto Film Festival on Monday.
Of course, that hasn't stopped Hollywood from trying.
"Make it a win-win situation. Don't be a colonialist going in, teaching people how to do things your way," Gelfond said.